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Two Tibetans set themselves on fire in China

BEIJING — Two more Tibetans have set themselves on fire in a restive southwestern region of China, a rights group said, the latest in a wave of such protests against Beijing’s rule. The incidents occurred Thursday in the Tibetan prefecture of Aba in a rugged area of China’s Sichuan province,…

BP faces legal action over Russian oil spills

BP has stepped into a new row over oil spills – this time in Russia – less than 24 hours after announcing it was going to pay out $8bn in America for polluting beaches with the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Shares in TNK-BP, the Russian joint venture, slumped 5% after a…

Obama’s popularity abroad on the wane, survey finds

WASHINGTON — US leadership has lost some of its luster abroad, suggesting President Barack Obama can’t count on as much global euphoria as he gears up for a fierce reelection campaign, a new survey found Thursday. The report card was particularly dire from Serbia and Iran where approval ratings for…

Australian troops to stay in Afghanistan through 2014

BRUSSELS — Australia vowed in an apparent U-turn Thursday to keep combat troops in Afghanistan through 2014 after Prime Minister Julia Gillard had indicated they would come home earlier than planned. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith made the pledge during talks with NATO counterparts to…

U.S. helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — A US Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southwestern Afghanistan on Thursday with four people believed to be on board, likely American soldiers, a US defense official told AFP. “We’re assuming they’re American,” said the official, adding he could not confirm whether those on board had been killed or…

Vatican condemns American nuns for liberal stances

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has issued a scathing condemnation of the main association of Catholic nuns in the United States for taking liberal stances on contraception, homosexuality and female priests. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) said in a statement on Thursday it was “stunned” by the Vatican…

Police break-up women’s protest in Guinea, some 20 injured

CONAKRY — Guinea police fired tear gas at women protesting over upcoming elections, as well as kicking and hitting them to break up the rally, leaving about 20 injured, an AFP journalist witnessed Thursday. About 200 women from several opposition parties gathered near the headquarters of the electoral commission (CENI)…

Bahrain denies visas to foreign journalists for F1

DUBAI — Bahrain has denied visas to foreign journalists and photographers, including from AFP, to cover this Sunday’s controversial Grand Prix race. An AFP photographer, accredited by the sport’s governing body, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), was informed by Bahrain’s information affairs authority that there has been a “delay…

Auschwitz march honours Holocaust dead

OSWIECIM, Poland — Thousands from across the globe marched Thursday between the former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in honour of six million Jews killed in the Holocaust during World War II. The mournful wail of traditional Jewish ram’s horn — the “shofar”, symbolising freedom — marked the start of…

Peru investigates deaths of almost 900 dolphins

LIMA — Officials in Peru said Thursday they are investigating what caused the deaths of nearly 900 dolphins that have washed up on its northern coast over the past four months. Authorities said they suspect a virus may be responsible, but are awaiting test results to know whether they can…

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